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Baldaur bondac, the double-bladed dromaeosaurid of Transylvania!

This is a critter I've had to stay mum about for a bit: awesome new
dromaeosaurid with two sickle claws (digit I and II) on each foot!

Hans Sues's blog report:


Csikia, Z., M. Vremir, S.L. Brusatte, and M.A. Norell. Early View. An
aberrant island-dwelling theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of
Romania. PNAS Published online before print August 30, 2010, doi:


Islands are noted for the occurrence of aberrant, endemic, and dwarfed taxa
(the "island effect"). Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages of Romania and
elsewhere in Europe are classic examples of island faunas in the fossil
record, and are characterized by dwarfed herbivorous dinosaurs and other
endemic taxa that are noticeably primitive relative to their mainland
contemporaries. Fossils of the predators inhabiting the European
paleoislands, however, are exceptionally rare and fragmentary. We describe a
new dromaeosaurid theropod, based on an articulated skeleton from the
Maastrichtian of Romania, which represents the most complete predatory
dinosaur from the middle to Late Cretaceous of Europe. This taxon is
characterized by a peculiar body plan, most notably extensive fusion in the
hand and distal hindlimb, a highly retroverted pelvis with enlarged femoral
muscle attachments, and a pair of hyperextensive pedal claws. However,
unlike the island-dwelling herbivorous dinosaurs, its closest relatives are
contemporary similar-sized Laurasian taxa, indicating faunal connections
between Asia and the European islands late into the Cretaceous. This
theropod provides support for the aberrant nature of the Late Cretaceous
European island-dwelling dinosaurs, but indicates that predators on these
islands were not necessarily small, geographically endemic, or primitive.

Hans Sues has an accompanying article as well.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA